With an excited feeling, I go into the English classroom and sit in the front row on the first day of school. Our class begins reading Richard III by William Shakespeare, whom I know is famous but I don’t have a deep understanding of. After all, who he is because I just arrived in the U.S., three days ago from Korea. He just seems like a playwright who likes to write about tragedies in a difficult language, which makes a foreign language student, like me, finds hard to comprehend. We are skimming through the book and open to a random page where it says “Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe”(5.3). I’m really frustrated after seeing all the unfamiliar words, and I cannot think of any way to get used to Shakespeare’s use of words. However, my criticizing negative viewpoint changed as I learned more about the works and languages of Shakespeare in class. His plays were all nerve- wrecking and kept me curious during the whole play as I spent a lot of time interpreting his hidden meanings.
In my freshman year, Shakespeare’s play, Richard Ill, and the quizzes about it lowered my English grade. I didn’t want to read further because the words which I haven’t seen such as Tis’ and hath confused me and the more I studied, the more I grew angry with get mad at myself for feeling stupid. Therefore, I went to my English teacher for help every day after school and she encouraged me, telling me that Shakespeare it is still hard even for those who have lived in the States for their entire life. After interpreting and discussing even a single word to the whole scene, I got a sense of Shakespeare’s style of writing and how the symbols that seem unimportant foreshadow the imminent events. The amusing thing is that I began to use his words easily when I was assigned an essay to write a story like those of Shakespeare. The enemy of my freshman year wasn’t friends or school work, but Shakespeare. However, as I tried harder, I began to regard him as one of my close acquaintances.
Then_, it came my sophomore year at Western Reserve Academy arrived. I transferred to Hudson, Ohio, from Seattle, Washington, because my sister went was attending to Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland. The beginning of the school year was busy getting adjusted to the new environment and the books I read in English were all fascinating: Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, and The Catcher in the Rye. As the clock was ticking, I knew it was time for the English teacher to make the major announcement; the fearful but interesting moment of my sophomore year was approaching. She handed out the syllabus for Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the person with whom I struggled in my freshman year. I tried to greet him with a big smile when I opened the book. It started with the three witches in a desert remote place and the first witch says “When shall we three meet again. In thunder, lightning, or in rain?”(1.1). Another tragedy seemed to show its spark. Despite my deep concerns, I received the highest grades not only in my quizzes but also in the essays. This boosted up-my confidence and now then I really began to feel that Shakespeare was as a familiar author like J.K Rowling of Harry Potter. Ending the year with 6.5 in my English class, I was satisfied with how I had survived another year with Shakespeare. It felt as if like he and I were destined to be together.
As I’m writing this now, I am undergoing a great amount of pressure about the SAT and the grades because it is my junior year. I became very sensitive lately when I heard others talk about colleges and the SAT that is going to take place on 9 October-9*. In class, we are currently reading Hamlet. I am neither surprised anymore nor afraid because Hamlet is famous for their tragedy with this quotation which probably most people will respond with delight, “To be, or not to be: that is the question:” (3,1). Even though I am reading the beginning, I am ready to know more about the events later in the play. This year, it is evident that I gained tranquility and placidity and I believe everything is going to be calm without any panicking resembling the past two years.
William Shakespeare, known to everyone in the world, is famous for writing poetry and for terrific plays ranging from tragedies to poetries-comedies. Many people appreciate his works for everlasting tensions in the play, tensions that which don’t get ignored even though 200 two hundred years have passed. However, he was the most intimidating and scariest person to me during the first two years of my high school career. His choice of language was incomprehensible because I felt as if like there is no need to use difficult vocabulary to confuse the author-reader. However, my viewpoint towards Shakespeare gradually changed as I read more of his works. Reading the three plays up to now- -Richard III, Macbeth, and Hamlet I began to understand how those usages add more interest to the readers, and I actually believe that my English has improved after reading because I’ve never interpreted a book that deeply. Shakespeare can be called my second English teacher who helped me gain confidence and advance my English.